Reshma Banoo Qureshi, 19, an acid attack survivor, is all set to walk the ramp at the prestigious New York Fashion week this September.
Qureshi was 17 years old when her brother-in-law along with some of her friends poured acid on her face. The incident turned her life upside down, but instead of withdrawing into darkness, she decided to live life on her terms. She started a fight for the rights of acid attack survivors,`and against the open sale of acid in the country.
Ever since the incident, Qureshi has always been in the forefront of the campaign against the sale of acid. Qureshi also worked with an NGO 'Make Love Not Scars', of which she is an integral part. She has also been the face of the award-winning global campaign #EndAcidSale.
Apart from all this she also works as a beauty vlogger to raise awareness against acid attacks in India.
Her journey - how she has strived to give courage and hope to people like her - has been really inspiring. Recently, New York-based fashion production house FTL Moda contacted the NGO 'Make love not scars', to reach out to Qureshi. And it was a done deal.
While confirming that Qureshi will be walking the ramp in September, a representative from the NGO told News18, "We are very thrilled about this opportunity for her."
While making the official announcement, Ilaria Niccolini, the producer at FTL Moda, said, "It has been a journey of discovery that led us to Make Love Not Scars, the most recognized entity supporting survivors of acid attacks in India. We want to give voice to these amazing women, who have been silently suffering, hiding, and too often depriving themselves of the opportunity to declare how beastly, and cruelly they have been attacked. FTL MODA and Global Disability Inclusion are activating a powerful movement called #TakeBeautyBack, in partnership with Fashion Week Online, to make all diverse models, feel beautiful and included in fashion and entertainment. We are working to create a world where acids used in these attacks are unavailable to the public."
Breaking fashion norms, Qureshi is now going to walk the ramp at the New York Fashion Week.
When the NGo broke the news to Qureshi, she could not hold her tears back. She was both emotional and elated.
The NGO made a video while breaking the news to her and shared it on their verified Facebook page. Her reaction to the news is so contagious that you will be filled with joy too. Take a look.
This is really huge for Qureshi, the NGO and for the country. It is great way to recognise both Qureshi and the NGO's efforts in fighting for the rights of acid attack survivors.
This is just the beginning, there are miles to go, Reshma!